News Release: Survey Brings Changes to the Emory Libraries

Solutions to noise complaints will be in place before finals

Published 04-12-2011

A quiet sign posted at Woodruff Library

Based on feedback from a survey of students and faculty, the Emory Libraries will continue to address noise challenges and other issues before the University heads into finals week.

Information gleaned from the recent survey – which drew a significantly higher response rate this year – revealed “numerous comments about the noise, the need for more places for quiet study and group study, and for better separation of quiet study space from more social space,” said library assessment coordinator Susan Bailey.

“Student comments often focused on the challenges during finals, when the traffic is higher, the noise is greater, and it is more difficult to find a place to study,” Bailey said.

The library received similar feedback during last year’s survey and began implementing steps to control noise last semester. To address student concerns in advance of finals week this semester, the services division in the Woodruff Library will:

  • Post courtesy signs to raise awareness of staff and student noise, the need to throw trash away and the Libraries’ cleaning schedule, as was done during fall semester’s finals week. Library security will monitor the noise level and enforce the quiet policy on individual study floors.
  • Request a temporary increase in maintenance/cleaning staff with extra rounds.
  • Restrict visitor access and give Emory users priority, beginning April 18.
  • Clean all printers in advance of finals so they are in top condition for heavy use.
  • Make earplugs available for those who want them.
  • Request additional service to restock the vending machine that contains supplies (blue books, index cards, headphones, flash drives) near the library service desk.
  • Request more trash cans on levels 1-3.
  • Provide extra tables on level 3.

Students will see flyers posted around the building with reminders of some of these highlights.

Participation in the survey more than doubled this year – there were 2,179 responses and an approximate response rate of 11.6 percent, compared with last year’s rate of 5.2 percent. Students and faculty from all the Emory Libraries are represented in the survey. The Libraries worked to boost participation with a streamlined process, a more aggressive marketing message and incentives – drawings for two iPads and three $25 iTunes gift cards. The iPads were won by Brian Davis, a fourth-year PhD student in the ILA, and Oxford undergraduate Esther Yoo.

“The iPad incentives, the improved marketing, the shorter survey length, and the opportunity to take the survey from an open link – all of those factors combined to provide us with some of the best results that we have had in a while,” Bailey said.

“The survey comments are a rich source of information,” she added – a source the Libraries will continue to analyze to improve services.

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